Book Bag Tutorial

Hello Again!  It’s Ayelet from The Graceful Rose, and I’m so happy that Melanie is having me back to share another sewing tutorial for you!

Today, I’m going to share a book bag tutorial, perfect for trips to the library.  My girls love tackling their summer reading lists by visiting the library once a week, and these totes make it easy for them to carry their books on the walk home.


To make this book back, you’ll need two half yard cuts of fabric, some fusible webbing, your sewing machine, matching thread, and a rotary cutter and mat.  I used a half inch seam allowance all the way through this project.

To get started, cut TWO pieces of fabric each 14 inches wide by 16 inches tall.  Next, cut TWO pieces 4 inches wide by 22 inches tall from your outer fabric.  Now, cut ONE piece 4 inches wide by 44 inches tall from your lining fabric.  You’ll also need to cut a scrap large enough for your letters.


To make the letters on the outside, just print the word “READ” in a font and size that you like.  Cut the letters out, and trace them onto a piece of fusible web BACKWARDS.  Iron the whole piece onto your fabric scrap following the instructions on the package.  Cut your letters out, and iron them onto one of the outer pieces of your bag.  Satin or top stitch around the letters to make sure they stay on!

With right sides facing, sew around the long sides and short end of both the lining pieces and the outer pieces, leaving the top edges unsewn.   For your lining pieces, be sure to leave a 3-4 inch opening in the bottom seam so that you can turn the bag out when you are finished.

Next, let’s make the straps.  Fold your 4×22 inch pieces in half lengthwise and sew along the short sides and long sides, leaving a few inches open so that you can turn the tube out.  Clip corners and turn.  Press and top stitch around your handle, then repeat with the other piece.


Turn your outer bag right side out.  Place one handle’s end about 2 inches away from the seam at the top of the outer bag.  Baste into place using a long stitch.  Repeat with the other end of the handle.  Then repeat with the other handle on the other side of the outer bag.


Now place your outer layer inside the lining, so that the ride sides are together.  Line up the edges and pin in place.


Sew all the way around the top of the bag, making sure to sew through all of the layers.

Turn your bag right side out using the whole that you left in the bottom seam of the lining.


Now you can sew the hole shut.


Push your lining into your bag, topstitch around the top, and press!  You’re almost finished!

To add some cuteness to my bag, I made a sash, using that 4×44 inch pieces of lining fabric.  I just folded it in half lengthwise, then sewed around (leaving a gap on the long side so that I could turn it right side out).  Then I topstitched all the way around, tied it into a bow around one strap, and voila!  A cute and easy book bag for my girls’ summer library trips!


Simple Benefits of Being a Reading Girl

If you have a book girl, I don’t need to say very much to convince you. You have probably seen the fruit of what a reading life does for a young girl, yourself! So if nothing else, let me remind you.
  • Imaginative. A reading girl is imaginative. She creates her own stories because she is inspired by the stories of others.
  • Problem solver. A reading girl knows the importance of thinking on her toes and is able to come to conclusions intentionally and quickly.
  • Creative. A reading girl is able to create something from nothing, such as this DIY project, because she is used to using her brainpower to think up new things and bringing them into existence.
  • Kind. A reading girl knows empathy is one of the greatest powers you can possess in this world because of the depth of human emotion in books.

I hope you make your kiddos some book bags for their summer reading adventures too!

Thanks, Melanie, for having me as a guest host!

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